"The outer conditions of a person's life will always be found to be harmoniously related to his inner state...Men do not attract that which they want, but that which they are."
- James Allen
There are situations that we are comfortable in and there are situations where we feel out of place. But if we keep putting ourselves in situations where we feel out of place, eventually there will come a time when we no longer feel out of place in the same situations. This is acclimatisation. This is what you are doing when you are 'practising' something. Or when you are going to the gym.. Or when you are going for a run.
At the gym, the weights that challenge you in the early days feel easy as you progress. While running, the distance that challenges you in the early days feels easy as you progress to longer distances. If you're learning a new language, or a new dance form, the same process is in place. When you're uncomfortable hanging out with a new set of people, and grow to like them as you spend more time with them, the same process is in place.
We are always moving towards equilibrium. Equilibrium between the outer conditions of our life and the inner state of our minds. The James Allen quote I have picked is the end state, the state of equilibrium.
He makes this statement to tell his readers that everything is in their control. If only they can control their mind, their life outside will be a reflection of what's happening in that mind. But, that's only one side of the story. The story told to people who feel burdened by the circumstances they are in, who feel frustrated with the way things are around them. It's a ray of hope. Nothing is more motivating than knowing that everything you care about is in your control and all that you need to do is give it your best shot.
But the flip side of it is true as well. One needn't arrive at this equilibrium by willing their minds to be strong and to take control of what's outside. It's just as effective to find a good friend, a good mentor, a good bunch of people to create the atmosphere outside of you that will then bring about the change that you want in yourself. Far too often, we don't realise what equilibrium state we are headed towards until it hits an extreme either on the low or on the high.
And most of us never hit the extreme - either on the high end or on the low end. We are always in between. Moving this way and that. In quasi-Brownian motion. And most places on that spectrum between the extremes seems like a decent place to be. So we get comfortable. And start creating little loops of the same thing. Work. Meet friends. Watch a movie. Watch TV. Repeat. Brownian motion in a constrained space. Not taking us anywhere. Making us not want to go anywhere.
Then there is experimenting. Introducing new dimensions to the Brownian motion. I started writing fiction. Experiment. I started wearing shorts instead of Jeans when I go out. Summer clothes. Experiment. I started learning Salsa. Experiment. Started learning Spanish. Experiment. Stopped running distances and started going to the gym instead. Experiment. Was cycling to work at one point. Experiment.
Some experiment with a wider range of things - with religious practices, with drugs, with their sexuality, with their travel habits, with where they live and call home. All in an attempt to see what's outside of that constrained space - either because they are bored of the space they have confined themselves to, or just because it is more interesting when the standing equilibrium is affected by a larger set of things, people and events.
The bigger the space for your Brownian motion, the more diverse the things that can impact the inner state of our mind. The smaller the space, and it is like putting all the eggs in the same basket.